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News Release Information

Friday, April 23, 2021

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — March 2021

Gasoline prices averaged $2.963 per gallon in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area in March 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Jason Palmer noted that area gasoline prices were up 59.7 cents compared to March 2020, when they averaged $2.366 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 14.8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in March 2021, more than to 14.3 cents in March 2020. In March, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 87.6 cents per therm, more than its average price of 75.7 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

The $2.963 per gallon Chicago households paid for gasoline in March 2021 was 10.7 cents higher than the nationwide average of $2.856. In the previous four years (2017-2020) in March, Chicago area gasoline prices ranged from 3.2 cents to 14.1 cents more than the nationwide average. (See chart 1.)

The 14.8 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in March 2021 was more than the national average cost of 13.8 cents per kWh. In Chicago, average electricity costs were higher than the national average in the previous four years (2017-2020) in March, ranging from 6.7 percent to 19.3 percent more. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area households for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 87.6 cents per therm in March 2021, 26.8 percent less than the national average of $1.144 per therm. In each of the previous four years (2017-2020) in March, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were lower than the national average, ranging from 12.3 percent to 26.8 percent less. (See chart 3.)

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, core based statistical area consists of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois; Jasper, Lake, Newton, and Porter Counties in Indiana; and Kenosha County in Wisconsin.

Historical average energy prices for the U.S. and select metropolitan areas are available at

The Consumer Price Index for April 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

Technical Note

Average prices are estimated from Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for selected commodity series to support the research and analytic needs of CPI data users. Average prices for electricity, utility (piped) gas, and gasoline are published monthly for the U.S. city average, the 4 regions, 9 divisions, 2 population size classes, 8 region/size-class cross-classifications, and the 23 largest local index areas.  For electricity, average prices per kilowatt-hour (kWh) are published. For utility (piped) gas, average prices per therm are published. For gasoline, the average price per gallon is published. Average prices for commonly available grades of gasoline are published as well as the average price across all grades.

All eligible prices are converted to a price per normalized quantity. These prices are then used to estimate a price for a defined fixed quantity. The average price per kilowatt-hour represents the total bill divided by the kilowatt-hour usage. The total bill is the sum of all items applicable to all consumers appearing on an electricity bill including, but not limited to, variable rates per kWh, fixed costs, taxes, surcharges, and credits. This calculation also applies to the average price per therm for utility (piped) gas.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, and the United States, March 2020 – March 2021, not seasonally adjusted
Year and monthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
Chicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited States






























Last Modified Date: Friday, April 23, 2021